Chennai: President Pranab Mukherjee pitched for improving the standards of higher education by Indian universities and asked the private players also to contribute their best as there were 'unlimited' demands and 'limited' resources in the sector.
"The standards of higher education in India need improvement. In ancient India, we had universities like Nalanda and Takshashila which had established themselves as international centers of educational excellence where students from all over the world came and studied", Mukerjee said.
In contrast, many Indian students today choose to go abroad for higher studies, Mukherjee said in his Convocation Address at the SRM University here.
Observing that India needs universities to provide quality education that met international benchmarks, he said, "we must change the reality of our universities not figuring in the list of top universities of the world. Indian universities should aim at becoming top educational institutions in the world with global standards of research, teaching and learning."
Noting that there were 'unlimited' demands and 'limited' resources in the field of higher education he said, "it is important that the private sector also contributes its best to the provision of higher education in India".
"The private sector has played a key role in higher education in other countries across the world. Many top universities including Harvard, Yale and Stanford are the result of efforts of the private sector. There is no reason why Indian private sector cannot achieve similar results", he said.
Stating that Indian education system was "burdened" with demands of both "quantity" and "quality", he said, "the numbers of students who seek admissions in universities today far exceed the capacity of government educational institutions".
"We need many more universities to be able to address the demands of higher education. And along with quantity, we also need to focus on quality", he said.
Defence Research Development Organisation Director General V K Sarasvat and noted physician Pawan Raj Goyal were awarded Doctorates in their field of expertise by Mukherjee on the occasion.